Louisiana residents braced for another possible battering, as forecast models predict the now-Tropical Storm Ida will track northwest and bring the risk of surge, wind and heavy rainfall from the Florida Panhandle to Texas.
After an Air Force reconnaissance Thursday afternoon, the National Hurricane Center upgraded the tropical depression to tropical storm status at 5:20 p.m., moving northwest at 14 mph with sustained winds of 40 mph. U.S. and European models anticipated Ida strengthening to a category 2 or 3 hurricane and make landfall on the Louisiana coast late Sunday or early Monday.
Just hours before the hurricane center’s upgrade, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards toured Lake Charles, La., still recovering from Hurricane Laura in 2020.
“Everybody along the Louisiana coast needs to prepare for a hurricane that may come as early as Sunday, possibly Monday, and it could be a major hurricane,” Bel Edwards said at a press conference.